Someone recently asked me if life coaching works. Before I dive into answering that questions, let’s first look at what life coaching is, what it isn’t and what it can do for you or someone you may know.

What is Life Coaching?

Life coaching is a structure between a Life Coach (preferably certified through an affiliated program of the International Coaching Federation) and a client (you). Coaching sessions should be based on the client’s goals and objectives and it is the coach’s job to listen, ask questions and dig into areas of interest and concern. The coach’s job is to actively listen to the motivation, challenges and blocks that can work for or against the client. The coach works with the client to create a plan to achieve goals and address blocks.

What a Life Coach Isn’t…

A Consultant — Unlike a consultant, a coach isn’t going to give you a report and tell you how to live your life.

A Therapist — There are many overlaps as therapists are now adopting coaching practices. The key difference between therapy and coaching is therapy tends to focus on resolving past trauma and issues where a coach addresses past trends and works to launch you into your future dream life.

A Mentor — A mentor is there to tell you about their experiences and offer suggestions based on their path. A coach may have past knowledge, but will use them to sound board to customize your plan.

A Sports Coach — No whistles, play by play or sideline yelling for Life Coaches. Although a Life Coach may be your cheerleader, the plays are developed for the client and there is no winning or losing (seriously!)

What Can a Life Coach Do For You?

A Life Coach has one objective, to make sure the client is getting what they need. For me a Life Coach opened my eyes to limiting beliefs, assumptions and interpretations that were holding me back from making big decisions like leaving my marriage and job and starting a new career and life in DC. A Life Coach is there to support you, however that may be. Whether it’s challenging you on negative self-talk, reframing challenges into opportunities, or just taking the time to dream, a Life Coach can help spark your creativity, motivation and engagement in life.

The key is consistency. By working with a coach on a regular and consistent basis, plans can be developed, tweaked and executed. When clients can be accountable to someone who only wants to see them succeed, it creates a win-win environment for awesomeness!

So Does Life Coaching Work?

Yes, if you’re ready to invest the time, energy and money in yourself. If you aren’t ready to be in 100%, a Life Coach can’t convince you to live your best life. This is a big decision. It typically takes a client two to eight months to start the program if they aren’t ready the day of their consult. It’s totally normal to take your time. It’s a big decision with a big price tag. But the alternative is the same of what hasn’t been working for you. It’s the same as hiring a personal trainer. If you half-ass it, don’t stick to the diet or don’t show up for sessions, you can’t expect good results.

There is a price to every decision. When you’re ready to work, life coaching will work for you.